Thursday, November 17, 2011

You don't impress me much

OK, so a funny thing happens whenever I finish an art project.

I go into a funk - a small pit of despair, adrift and at a loss.

You would think that finishing a project would result in a boost in confidence. For some reason it does the opposite for me. I just finished two major projects that I am very pleased with. One was an addition to the Centennial Trail Project, the other was a commissioned painting with matching cards. I had to overcome several obstacles on both projects and I am very happy with the way they turned out. So what happened?

Into the pit of self-doubt I went. I won't bore you with the details of my sojourn in the pit. Eventually I clawed myself out - using the hand and footholds that I have painfully carved out as a result of previous visits.

During my last time in the pit, I thought about this pattern of post-project despair, and I realized that maybe I just needed to not be so impressed by it. Instead of feeling that panic of "I am in the pit...again!!!! WOE IS ME!!!", maybe I could just get out scientist me and take some notes: "Hmmmmm, I notice that when I finish a project, I have a dip emotionally. Very interesting," all the while taking notes in my Book of Me.

I know it sounds somewhat narcissistic to have a Book of Me, but it has actually been very helpful in noticing patterns in my behavior. Neutrally listening to the fear voice that runs through my head has helped me to minimize its debilitating effect. Just like I have learned that I need to build a bridge back to the studio after time spent away, I can also set up helpful transitions for moving from the end of one project to the beginnings of another.

In the studio, I am working on a new painting. Here is a value study for it:

I also have lovely new cards from the Dueling Dragons Series of paintings:

The commissioned piece that I spoke of earlier required that I solve the "how to turn a painting into a card" mystery, which has resulted in my also being able to offer these cards. They will be in my shop very soon.

I am thankful that while the fear voices are still with me, and probably always will be, I am learning to not be quite so impressed by them.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week.


  1. Hooray! I can't wait to see the cards.

  2. Great cards. They turned out well and the commission piece was great too. One comment on your book however, wouldn't it be better referred to as An Owner's Owners Manual?